Toyota doubles down on its hybrid bet in India – Reuters

August 22, 2022 by No Comments

  • Toyota teams up with Suzuki to crack Indian hybrid market
  • First new model is compact SUV, people-carrier to follow
  • Toyota aims to lower costs by making components in India

BIDADI, India, Aug 22 (Reuters) – Toyota is rebooting its strategy for India, doubling down on a bet that emerging markets will learn to love its hybrids, as long as the price is right.

Renowned for its pioneering Prius, the Japanese carmaker has struggled to sell large numbers of its hybrid Camry sedan since its Indian debut in 2013, partly due to a sticker price of more than eight times the annual income of a middle-class family.

This time, Toyota is determined to do it differently with lower-cost hybrids, said four company and industry executives and suppliers who provided previously unreported details about the carmaker’s sourcing, production and pricing strategy.

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Central to the strategy is a drive to cut the cost of full hybrid powertrains by making them in India, where the automaker’s factories are running well below capacity, and to source key materials within the country.

Toyota Motor (7203.T) is also leveraging its cooperation with partner Suzuki Motor (7269.T), majority owner of India’s biggest carmaker Maruti (MRTI.NS), to benefit from its low-cost engineering know-how and mild hybrid technology.

“The hybrid bet is a turning point. It will be a litmus test for Toyota’s future and success in India,” one person with direct knowledge of Toyota’s plans told Reuters.

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